Christmas holiday in Tallinn

Source: Erik Peinar, Visit Estonia

Christmas holiday in Tallinn

Snowflakes fall, dusting rooftops and cobblestone streets with a layer of pure white. Candles and strings of lights illuminate cafe windows, inviting passersby in for a hot mulled wine. Winter is an enchanting time in Estonia with dozens of festive, seasonal attractions. A Christmas in Tallinn will be an unforgettable memory to treasure for years to come.

In 2019, Tallinn was named the Best Christmas Market in Europe, and in 2020 it remains a top holiday pick as one of Europe's safest Christmas destinations. This year, you can catch the Christmas festivities in Tallinn from 29 November 2020 until 10 January 2021.

Where to stay

The snowy landscape outside will be frosty, so snuggle up with your loved ones in a unique hotel with first-class comfort and charm. The medieval Old Town is the ideal place to stay during a wintertime trip to Tallinn, on winding streets of historical buildings, a stone's throw away from the Town Hall Square and its famous Christmas tree.

Let it snow

The weather during Estonian winters ranges from mild to subzero, so pack appropriate clothing to keep you toasty.

Photo by: Margus Johanson

Hotel Telegraaf began it's life as a post office and telephone centre in 1878, but has since been renovated into a modern 5-star establishment. Guests at My City Hotel can enjoy a large collection of Italian art that decorates the walls as well as fresh baked breakfasts and an in-house spa, all without leaving the Old Town.

For elegant yet budget-friendly accommodation, look just outside the Old Town. For a taste of "manor elegance right in the heart of Tallinn", book a room at the Von Stackelberg Hotel, a 19th century city estate of German-Baltic Baron von Stackelberg. Each of the rooms at the modern Solo Sokos Hotel Estoria, in the city centre, are different and tell an individual story. The Park Inn by Radisson Central Tallinn, just across the street, is around the corner from the lively Rotermanni quarter.

Where to eat

For a taste of Estonian Christmas food, check out the medieval-themed Olde Hansa, located in an authentic Hanseatic-era building, and nearby Restaurant Kaerajaan, which offers a modern take on Estonian traditions. Restaurant FARM provides the feeling of the Estonian countryside without leaving the Old Town, while the Estonian Open Air Museum's Kolu Inn is an 1840s tavern that serves delicious national dishes. Check out our recommendations on where to eat Christmas dinner in Estonia.

Attractions 

Take a break from the snowy weather outside to explore contemporary and traditional facets of Estonian culture. Learn about rural life at the Estonian Open Air Museum with a special winter program including a Christmas Village and Holiday Weeks with handicrafts, bread baking, wood chopping and more. The Town Hall Pharmacy, found on the same square as the Christmas Market, is the oldest continually operating pharmacy in one premise in Europe, dating to 1422. You can take a look at the old rooms for free or participate in a medicinal workshop.

Estonia is a seafaring nation in all seasons and The Seaplane Harbour Museum tells this story through interactive exhibits: icebreaking ships, submarines, cannons and even ice boats. The design of Kumu, the Art Museum of Estonia, is an impressive modern artwork itself and was awarded the European Museum of the Year in 2008. Check out the permanent Estonian collection or any of the Christmastime concerts and performances.

Things to do

Tallinn's central Christmas tree

The most important Christmas tree in Estonia stands in the centre of the Town Hall Square. 

Photo by: Visit Estonia 

This year, in place of the traditional Tallinn Christmas Market, the Christmas festivities will be spread across the whole Old Town, giving you even more to see and explore. The Gothic Town Hall opens its doors to visitors, in front of it the city's official Christmas Tree will stand dressed to impress. Check out the Christmas-themed programmes of the Old Town's museums and attractions, enjoy urban art and light installations, or join a tour ranging from the Tallinn City Museum's "Christmas in the city" tour to an evening lantern tour or a spooky ghost tour.

There are also window performances on Viru Street - the windows of one of the main streets of the Old Town will magically become concert and dance stages on 29 November and 5, 19, and 20 December. The performances start at 16.00. 

Artisans are hosting holiday workshops during which you can make your own Christmas presents like an embroidered blanket, a card or a doll, and you can even make some gingerbread, decorated marzipan or chocolate. Speaking of sweets, Gingerbread Mania, a unique and playful gingerbread art and design exhibition, will also be held in Tallinn 04.12.2020 - 07.01.2021. During the holiday season, you can also see and buy traditional himmeli ornaments, the world's largest of which was made in Estonia in 2019 and measured nearly six cubic metres!

Read all the latest on Christmas in Tallinn in 2020.

Last updated : 25.11.2020

In category: Tallinn, North Estonia

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